OMAHA, Neb. — Union Pacific Railroad legendary steam locomotive No. 844 will pull a special train celebrating the 50th anniversary when No. 844 was moved from Council Bluffs, Iowa, to Cheyenne, Wyo., and placed in special train service. The train is a fundraising special for the Union Pacific Railroad Museum.
“Union Pacific Railroad is proud of our unique history and we love being able to celebrate special events like this. No. 844 was never retired and has served Union Pacific well as an ambassador for our company over the years. Using our rolling history to support the efforts of the Friends of the Union Pacific Museum makes the celebration even better,” said Brenda Mainwaring, Union Pacific’s director – public affairs Nebraska and Iowa.
In order to get in position to pull the 50th Anniversary Special train, No. 844 will travel from its home base in Cheyenne, Wyo., to North Platte, Neb., on November 9 and then on to Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Nov. 10. On Nov. 11 and Nov. 12, the locomotive will be on public display at Golden Spike Park, S. 21st St. and 9th Ave. in Council Bluffs.
The 50th Anniversary Special will make a round trip on Nov. 13, between Omaha and North Platte. No. 844 will pull the excursion to North Platte. When the special train arrives in North Platte, No. 844 and its support cars will cut away from the train and be placed on the side track between Chestnut and Poplar in downtown North Platte.
Diesel locomotives will be attached to the 50th Anniversary Special, taken over Bailey Yard’s “sheep jump” and arrive back in Omaha later that evening. The 13-car passenger train is sold out for the trip.
No. 844, also known as Union Pacific’s “Living Legend,” was returned to service in 2006 after one of the most extensive steam locomotive overhauls in the United States since the 1950s. The overhaul began in 1992, and included extensive work on its running gear, pumps, piping, valves and springs, along with replacement of its firebox and extensive boiler work. Even the cab interior has been refurbished.
This was the last steam locomotive built for Union Pacific Railroad. A high-speed passenger engine, it was delivered in 1944, and pulled such widely known trains as the Overland Limited, Los Angeles Limited, Portland Rose and Challenger.